Phoenix Suns trade rumors have the team interested in acquiring Derrick Favors from the Utah Jazz before the February 23 NBA trade deadline. Fans of the Suns might find it odd that the team is looking to bring on a player with an eight-figure salary during a rebuilding year, but that is exactly what the front office in Phoenix is advertising this week.
A report by the Salt Lake City Tribune indicates that the Suns contacted the Jazz about Favors’ availability. This piece of news could have been generated from Favors coming up in previous NBA trade rumors, as it doesn’t appear likely that the Jazz would want to part with him this year. In addition to the team being right in the middle of a race for the 2017 NBA Playoffs, Favors has a very team-friendly contract when it comes to big men.
Derrick Favors is slated to earn about $11 million this season and then $12 million during the 2017-18 NBA season. He would then become an unrestricted free agent who could command a salary closer to $20 million per season. That’s a lot of money for the Jazz to have to pay to keep him in Utah, but the time to deal him hasn’t arrived for the team yet. It would be easier to part with Favors during the NBA offseason or at some point before the trade deadline next year.
In 40 games for the Utah Jazz this season (32 starts), Derrick Favors is averaging 23.5 minutes, 9.2 points, and 6.1 rebounds per game. Those numbers aren’t very close to the 32.0 minutes, 16.4 points, and 8.1 rebounds that he was averaging during the 2015-16 NBA season. The dip in production is due to a nagging knee injury, which could also be a red flag for any team trying to acquire him through trade.
In the latest NBA playoff standings, the Utah Jazz have the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference at 35-22, putting the team just half-a-game behind the L.A. Clippers for the fourth spot. The team finishing with the No. 4 seed will secure home-court advantage in the first-round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs. That gives Utah a lot of incentive to try to catch the Clippers in the next eight weeks.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Utah has also been in contact with the Dallas Mavericks about reacquiring point guard Deron Williams. He could give the team an additional boost down the stretch, but these NBA trade rumors are more important than simply trying to add to the roster. This should indicate that the Suns don’t have much of a chance of prying Favors away through a midseason deal.
While these Phoenix Suns trade rumors might make sense for the long-term plans of the franchise, the front office isn’t likely to overpay for a player like Derrick Favors ahead of the NBA trade deadline. The overtures may have simply been to find out if Favors could be acquired at a discount, with the team having an eye on resting him this year and then coming out strong during the 2017-18 NBA season. It’s not a bad plan, as Favors is the type of player that could help out any contending team that also has a young core already on the roster.
At 18-39 on the season, the Suns are also battling to get the No. 2 overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. The team is destined to receive a good selection at the NBA Draft Lottery, with fans hoping that the team can get lucky with the ping pong balls and emerge with the No. 1 draft pick. With one of the first two selections, the team could then add Washington point guard Markelle Fultz or UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball. Additional Phoenix Suns trade rumors also suggest the team is looking to acquire another first-round pick before the Feb. 23 deadline.
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